News / Sara Fine Institute Lecturer discussed market value of ideas


On February 18, the School was pleased to welcome Jonathan Zittrain as the 2010 Sara Fine Institute Lecturer. Zittrain is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he co-founded its Berkman Center for Internet & Society. His presentation, “Minds For Sale,” explored how the modern digital marketplace can be a venue for harnessing the mind power of thousands or millions. He discussed both the opportunities and the challenges inherent in such an intriguing application of crowd sourcing. The 2010 Lecture is sponsored by the School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh; The School of Law, University of Pittsburgh; and the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

Dr. Zittrain was brought in as the latest in a distinguished group of Sara Fine Institute Lecturers that includes Dr. Lawrence Lessig and Dr. Chris Dede. The Sara Fine Institute was established in honor of Dr. Sara Fine, Faculty Emeritus, at the time of her retirement. The institute is a University-wide resource based in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. The Institute continues Dr. Fine's research into the novel issues emerging from the impact of technology on interpersonal behavior.

Previously, he was Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University. His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education.

Zittrain performed the first large-scale tests of Internet filtering in China and Saudi Arabia in 2002, and now as part of the OpenNet Initiative he has co-edited a study of Internet filtering by national governments, "Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering." His book "The Future of the Internet -- And How to Stop It" was released in April 2008 from Yale University Press and Penguin UK -- and under a Creative Commons license.

Zittrain’s lecture is available at